Charles Ray

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School Wed 18 Apr 2007 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street
Admission: $5, free for all students, as well as Public Art Fund members and New School faculty, staff and alumni with valid ID
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For more than three decades, Charles Ray's wide-ranging art has continually entertained viewers and upended expectations. With a lively, self-deprecating sense of humor and virtuoso craftsmanship, the Los Angeles-based artist depicts familiar elements of everyday life and modern art in disarmingly altered ways. His abstract and figurative sculptures—many of them among the most iconic artworks of our time—are the result of "some everyday thought that sticks," as he puts it. From his black ink-filled minimalist cube to his elaborate cast-aluminum sculpture of an abandoned piece of work equipment, Untitled (Tractor) (2003-05), Ray's boisterous works cause shifts in perception and address sculpture's most fundamental questions: mass, space, color, and gravity. Interested in the active processes that are happening when one looks at art, Ray's work encourages viewers to focus not just on subject matter, but also on how a sculpture occupies and shapes its surroundings. Toy Truck (1993), a Tonka fire truck scaled up to the size of the actual thing was the show-stopping icon of the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Parked in front of the museum, its one-to-one scale with the city suggested that perhaps everything else around it was a toy version of itself, too.

The Public Art Fund has produced this ongoing lecture series of presentations and discussions by some of today's most influential artists, critics, and curators, including Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Rachel Whiteread, Matthew Barney, Gabriel Orozco, Pipilotti Rist, Tony Oursler, Catherine David, Kasper Konig, Okwui Enwezor, and Lynne Cook.